Give people a gas: test drive Lawn Next CNG

It seems to be an ordinary lawn NEXT. But no, not at all – under the hood of this car is a gas engine. This machine yet on sale, more than that – it had not even entered in the series. And we already had a short test drive, and ready to share their experiences.

New old friend

Lawn Next – not far from a novelty on our roads. And yet I will briefly remind you what kind of car and how good he is.

N Keep in mind how quickly the medium-rot “beasts” of the fourth generation of the GAZ-3307 and GAZ-3309? Maybe I do not remember, because it is not rusty saw them only in the factory but at dealerships. This global problem tried to solve on the lawn NEXT. And done it was really very much.

The first thing that can be seen with the naked eye – plastic booths wings, wheel arches and radiator grille. Now they will not rust physically. The second serious action is not so noticeable, but it is – full cab galvanized metal parts. There’s even a frame cataphoretic coating, so that rapid corrosion should not be.

Very much has been done for the convenience of the driver and the lawn. For example, look at the access holes on the front wings near the headlights. Yes, through which you can quickly and easily replace the faulty bulb. However, all of the major trends can only be appreciated sitting inside, so the cabin will tell much more interesting a little later, but for now will continue to check out.


Our truck – triple cabin and short rear overhang, the base is 3770 mm. This model has a factory index S41R16. In the future it is planned two more gas version: S41R36 and S42R36 first – with the same triple cabin, but a long wheelbase 4 515 mm, and the third – a seven-seat cabin and a base of 4 515 mm, but with a short body (as in the first embodiment).

Under the four-cylinder body visible. In fact, seven of them, three more are located longitudinally between the frame side members behind the four cross. And the spare wheel remains one single space – in the rear overhang. The volume of each cylinder – 52 l and a filling volume of all cylinders of 72.8 m3 (yes, that’s right: one – in liters and filling volume – in cubic meters, so it is written in the technical documentation).

More outside nothing gives the features of this truck, so the finish looking at it and sit in the cockpit.

Faster, quieter, stronger

Since the gas is quite reasonably seeks to unify trucks, there is nothing surprising in the fact that the instrument panels Lawn NEXT and NEXT Gazelle same. And if the small-scale Gazelle tidy this seems a little solid, the lawn, it looks as a design masterpiece.

4.43 liters, 150 hp, 493 Nm.

Of course, there is nothing supernatural, but still it is much better than it was in previous generations. A stove vents in general can cause tenderness owners Largus, Logan and Duster. Nevertheless, the rather simple-panel lies a large number of interesting surprises.

Let’s start with the fact that a lot got here straight from the gourmet stores and factories. Some people do not like it (the import substitution and all the rest), but why, for example, to invent air conditioning, if it has already successfully made a Delphi? Let’s continue: gear-motor wiper – Bosch, electric window – Brose, central locking – Kiekert. The last two options, by the way, has already come as standard, as well as heated mirrors.

seat adjustment is more than enough. You can order more and heated seats, but that is an option in its base there. The dashboard is pleasing: vesёlenkaya, optimistic, like a smile, Pierre Richard.

Only alarming scale gauges brake circuits: they are located in the central part and without this small small screen, so reading is seen badly. However, attention is not paid to them is necessary: ​​First, even small leaks can be compensated air compressor, and secondly, even if the machine is critical pressure drop will not remain loose. The era ZiL-131 has already passed, so, apparently, and monumental gauges on trucks panels gradually go into oblivion.

So it turns out that everything tidy more like a combination of a car, with central tachometer and speedometer, the arrow pointer coolant temperature and fuel level. But that is a true delight, as is the check point lever. On the one hand, it is convenient, not just at hand. Yet his pre-revolutionary form does not fit with a more modern cabin interior. Well, try as all this beauty behaves on the go.

The level of noise and vibration in the cabin low, although, of course, the engine is heard well. Depress the clutch and turn the transmission. The first gear is a bit unusual – to the left and back, and at the usual place is the first back. In principle, the first gear is not always necessary: ​​in an empty truck can be great to get under way, and with the second, so the logic is understandable.

Despite the wild appearance of the lever operates the box as expected. Speed ​​switch clearly, no hum or vibration to the lever there. Incidentally, the transmission is also not without foreigners bearings – SKF, synchronizers – Oerlikon Graziano, cuff – Rubena and Simrit. If you go further away from the box, you can see the maintenance-free driveline Spicer (Dana) and the rear axle Simrit cuffs. Interestingly, on a plate with the image of a gear change circuit reverse gear contains a typical Soviet (even Russian) way “ZK”

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Due to the beveled side windows glass area has turned out a bit more, respectively, and a good overview. However, no problems with the size at protiskivanii in the narrow gap between the pillars or machinery is not outside the car seems bigger than it is. The more that an unusually sharp steering truck (especially – Russian), but what I mean: it is also from ZF.

When you press the brake pedal one might think: Is the hydraulic drive? No pecks nose under strong pressure, no delays … But no, there are pressure gauges on the panel! Yes, the drive was traditional for trucks – pneumatic, but the brakes finally steel disc. And again pleases the number of assistants and standard options: here you and ABS, and EBD, and even “antibuks» ASR.

If you want the usual cargo of hardcore, you can get under the car and look at the suspension: the front and the back, you will see the usual spring. Apparently, without medium-technique it is not impossible to make. However, spring suspension – not an anachronism and is an indispensable attribute of this class of truck.

Some will say: All praises and compliments! And where is the negative? Where at least constructive criticism? Sorry, citizens, am getting. I do not find within a short drive of serious shortcomings. I liked the new lawn, but do not rule out that in the long-term operating manual can be found flaws. But it remains to be seen if this design will be reliable, I’m sincerely happy for designers.

Let’s move on to dessert – the power unit, is used as a fuel is not gasoline or diesel fuel and compressed natural gas.

Step on the gas!

What is a compressed natural gas (CNG)? This compressed gas consisting mainly of methane with a small amount of ethane. It is much cheaper than gasoline, and most importantly – environmentally friendly. I can not say that the best minds are not sleeping at night in an attempt to convert internal combustion engines with gasoline to CNG, but a well-known Russian company is working on this issue very closely. And not without success, I tell you. “Flaming Heart” of today’s Lawn eats just this gas, and it is done in Russia, the factory YaMZ. Here are some specifications of the motor YaMZ-53444.

4.43 l / 150 hp

Engine – row “quartet” volume of 4.43 liters. Power – 150 hp and maximum torque – 493 Nm. The most interesting thing in it – fuel equipment. It is a system of distributed gas supply with electronic control. In pre-production samples most problems delivers just the electronic control unit of the company Westport, setting which brings a lot of trouble. Experts claim that the problems can be solved with the unit, and prototypes for and are there to test the new technology and bring it to a decent level of reliability and efficiency. What is the concept of HBO?

compressed gas through the vents (Emer Mark) from the refueling device is supplied in cylinders (they are made in Russia, Orsk). For highway use galvanized steel tube, the gas pressure in them – 200 atm. Gas comes from the cylinders in the high pressure filter (Valtek), where the same pressure is supplied to the gas gear (Emer). Here the pressure is reduced to 6 atm, and then through a low-pressure filter (Parker) in the gas enters the engine.

As you can see, are also present in the imported components of LPG equipment. All these manufacturers have proven, so the quality can not worry.

What will happen next?

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No matter how excellent fuel has not been compressed natural gas, all of its benefits will not be worth anything without the proper amounts of the respective ingredients. That’s what Paul says Sereda, director of “Light commercial and passenger cars”, “GAZ Group”: “GAZ did everything in his power to offer customers a full line of equipment the CNG: as soon as we run srednetonnazhnik” LAWN NEXT CNG »with the engine YaMZ, begins production of a pilot lot “Gazelle NEXT CNG» with a turbocharged engine EvoTech, and the “Business Gazelles” methane is produced commercially from 2013.

Now the word of the companies involved in the development of refueling infrastructure. In the nearest time, they must make a breakthrough in the country’s gas saturation ingredients. And while this is not very much: on the way next topic – electricity. If the HSE and in the small towns of gas for a long time there is demand, then large cities there is a temptation to skip the “Gas Age” directly to the electric. “GAZ Group” is also now actively working “Over the last topic.

We can not agree that the craving for electric motors is now great, but the problems are similar to gas engines: no one really knows where they refuel (or charge the battery). Judging by the fact that the cost of gas as a fuel is much lower than gasoline, it can be assumed that the “jump” Gas century still will not work.

Maybe it’s good?

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